The worst thing about my school is its location. Poughkeepsie does not compare with big cities, which have much more resources for learning and expanding curriculum material. If only Vassar were in a city like New York, where museums and art galleries, among so many other attractions, enhance the quality of education just by the unique resources they make available to students!
Students at Vassar can be close-minded to other points of view, especially politically. Although this can result in heated, productive debate, it more often ends in feelings of ostracism for those moderate/libertarian/conservative/hunting/pro-life/etc. students. But that is what happens in small communities, I suppose.
The cost. Ironically, our president is an economist who focuses on the cost of higher education, yet Vassar is still one of the most expensive schools in the nation. Clearly the college does its best to give everyone an equal opportunity at higher education, which I think is admirable. It does assuage my own personal worries abotut the amount of money I'm spending on college
-Really good classes and professors are being cut to deal with the financial crisis.
-The food stinks.
-Too many hipsters (ugh).
Vassar's strength is its liberalism. Anything goes there, as long as it is of the left leaning. The downside is that you are often preeching to the choir. Particularly in pollitical discussions, there is no voice to represent the right/conservative perspective. Vassar in a sense is a bubble of leftism, and without the oppotunity to hear thoughtful perspectives from the right, our response to the right--which certainly exists outside of 'the bubble'--is weakened.
As a gated community, Vassar has very little interaction with the local community. This could be attributable to the divide between Vassar's highly educated, wealthy student body and Poughkeepsie's blue-collar residents. There are plenty of initiatives being sought by Vassar to close this divide, such as Vassar students volunteering to tutor at local middle schools.
Students can be too sensitive at times. It can be hard moving from one type of community to another, where there are differences in what is acceptable and what is insulting, yet sometime it seems as though students here don't understand that and will judge you for the things you say.
The worst thing.. hm. There aren't too many horrible things.. I guess the hook-up culture. It can be trying. Because the school is so small, sometimes it feels like everybody knows everyone else. It can also be a positive thing, though.
It can be a bit removed from the neighborhood that surrounds it. The school is very idealistic and liberal-minded, and there should be a greater outreach to the lower-income communities in the town.
The worst part for me is how groups of friends are sometimes determined by race, not all the time, but it is definitely noticeable.
The worst thing about Vassar is believing that it's the only thing Poughkeepsie has to offer. Some refer to it as the Vassar bubble. But you can leave campus and explore, I suggest you do.
Most Vassar students have a very hard time limiting the things that they get involved in and so most burn out some where around their sophmore year. Vassar as a whole does little to curb this tendency.
Most people come from wealthy families, despite their ethnic background. While I had many friends at this school, I often felt like I couldn't relate to many who had come from wealthier families than mine.
While Vassar tends to be open-minded (concerning race, gender, sexual orientation) it can also be closeminded, especially in regard to politics. Anyone who doesn't have a liberal agenda is looked down upon, and there is little political debate -- just students agreeing with one another, and ostracizing those who disagree. Everyone is stressed, because they spread themselves too thin. Vassar students and professors are overcommited and busy, but enjoy what they do. There are a lot of overacheivers and artistic souls who suffer from depression, anxiety, etc. Work load can be overwhelming, but is rewarding in the end.
The liberal bubble makes you forget about the rest of the world sometimes.
Some of the students who go here come from very affluent backgrounds and don't know what it's like to come from a middle-class family. Thus, they act snobbish and sometimes extremely conceited and eliteist around you.
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